Dearest Younger Self,
More than a decade back, you firmly told Life that you definitely did not want XYZ. Your decision was final. You were tired of running after XYZ and getting burned in the process. You had come to the conclusion that there was no XYZ. Even then, you were mature enough to realize that XYZ was not actually non-existent because people were enjoying it all around you. You just understood and accepted that it was not for you. You were just not the XYZ type, you felt. And you no longer wanted to lose your self-respect and dignity running after XYZ.
So you just put your foot down and told Life: “I don’t want XYZ anymore. I really don’t want it. I am totally cured of my desire for it. Enough is enough!”
And indifferent Life did not care!
You may be surprised if I told you that Life has walked up to me holding XYZ on a golden platter—all gift wrapped. And now Life says with a snigger: “Hey you! take it or leave it! It’s up to you.”
I stared at Life in shocked amazement. “What do you mean?” I ask. “You dangle a carrot in front of my nose and you have a funny smile on your face. Can I trust you? You may thrust a knife in my bosom the moment I step forward to receive that gift on your platter. Or worse still, you may withdraw your gift the moment I stretch my hands forward to receive it and laugh your fiendish laugh.”
My dearest younger self, I admit I have not seen the worst of life. Other people have it harder than me. There are people struggling with hunger, poverty, disease, and loneliness all around me. I am luckier. I only thought myself to be the unluckiest person on earth just because I did not get XYZ. Then I decided I no longer wanted it.
Today, I know that I am not the unluckiest person on earth. In fact, I am one of the luckiest. I have a house to live in. The loveliest boy on earth is my son. I have enough money to spend. I have more food to eat than I can possibly digest. I can read, write, drive, ride, and swim. My laughter is not half-hearted; it emerges from my belly and splits people’s eardrums. I can think of the worst things that happened to me with a smile of understanding on my lips.
In brief, peace reigns supreme in my life. I know Life cannot hurt me anymore because I am no longer you, my dearest younger self. I am a big girl now. I am tougher and stronger. My mind is sharper than yours had ever been. Since you have cried your heart out, you haven’t left me any more tears to shed. They do not emerge from my eyes even if I want them to.
What do you think I should do with the XYZ Life is offering me? I know you are scared and worried, but I am not. I just have an amused smile on my face.
Meanwhile, the world is still the loneliest place when I am miserable, the same way it was for you, dearest younger self. Life is still cold, hard, callous, indifferent, but beautiful at the same time. I still get shot when I utter words, while my actions go unseen and unacknowledged. The only difference is that I am strong enough to handle it and you weren’t.
Your Older and Wiser Version (OWV)